Officials say 30 more people have been found dead after they attempted to cross the Sahara desert in Niger.

The victims were believed to be headed to Libya, where many migrants then attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Europe.

Local authorities say the victims probably died several months ago and their remains have only now come to light.

The International Organization for Migration said Tuesday that the bodies had been found in Dirkou, northeast of Agadez, Niger.

The town is a major launching point for Africans from across the continent who want to escape poverty and in some cases oppressive governments at home.

The discovery brings the total over the past week to 48 dead.